How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Little Rock AR
Selecting the right phlebotomist school near Little Rock AR is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, most potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Little Rock AR laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Little Rock AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Little Rock AR employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some Little Rock AR students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Little Rock AR medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Little Rock AR in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Little Rock AR job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Little Rock AR hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Little Rock AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Little Rock AR healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to confirm that the final program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Little Rock AR, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Little Rock Arkansas
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Little Rock AR.